You probably have heard that the University of Tennessee has joined up with Bristol Motor Speedway for a rare ticket promotion.
For a mere $110, you can buy a ticket to both the NASCAR race at Bristol and UT's home opener against some team from the Northwest whose name escapes me at the moment.
Here's the best part: You don't even have to donate $10,000 to the UT Fund To Pay Off Fired Coaches And Administrators or fork over $100 to park your car within a 5K race of Neyland Stadium.
What a bargain, huh?
As good as that looks, my guess is the best deals are yet to come.
Why? Because UT wants to pay back its fans for all their suffering during the last school year.
Just kidding. The motive behind UT's ticket promotion is — and this might shock you — money.
The Vols' opener against that team from the Mountain Standard Time Zone isn't a sellout. That's indicative of a greater problem. UT's non-conference schedule, which includes four games at Neyland Stadium, is about as appealing as a telethon for corporate executives.
After the opener against — now, I remember — Montana, which is not to be confused with Montana State, the Vols will play non-conference games against Cincinnati, Buffalo and Middle Tennessee State.
Too bad Bristol doesn't have NASCAR races scheduled every month. Instead, the Vols likely will have to partner up with local cinemas and restaurants, who could offer " football, dinner and a movie" in one modestly priced package.
Before the promotions get too desperate — a blockbuster deal including a gas station, fill-up and a Buffalo ticket, perhaps — I'd like to suggest a novel concept: How about giving tickets away?
"Whoa," you're thinking. If UT starts giving away tickets to football games, the next thing you know it won't be able to afford a pay hike for its chancellor.
Don't get panicky. This isn't about something as frivolous as goodwill. It's good business.
And it has been done before.
Tommy Wilson, a lifelong UT fan, remembers gaining free admission during the Harvey Robinson era (1953-54) when the Vols went 10-10-1, which isn't all that far off the 18-20 pace of the last three years. All he needed was his Boy Scout uniform.
"The South end zone of the stadium was full of kids," Wilson said.
The impact wouldn't be any different today, especially if you aren't too picky about what youth group it is. Whether it's the Future Business Leaders of America or Young Geeks for a Better Tomorrow, let as many of them in as the stadium will accommodate.
It should be able to accommodate plenty when Buffalo rolls into town Oct. 1.
This promotion wouldn't just help fill the stadium. It would serve as an investment in your future.
One of those Young Geeks for a Better Tomorrow might turn out to be the next Bill Gates. Or one of those Future Business Leaders of America might be the next Jim Haslam.
They also might remember what a great time they had at Neyland Stadium. The kid you let in free today could help fund your program in the future.
Something else about letting kids in the stadium: They make a lot of noise.
And they don't care if they're yelling against Georgia or Montana.